Pandemic Influenza featuring discussants Ronald Atlas, David Nabarro and Margaret Hamburg. Stewart Simonson moderates.
The last major influenza pandemic occurred in 1918 and killed 20 to 40 million people worldwide. Nearly 90 years later, we are almost as helpless in facing this disease as we were back then. Experts from around the world will bring us up to date on how we plan to protect ourselves. From vaccine development to surveillance and detection to rapid response, this session will lay out the global plans to fight the next pandemic- Aspen Institute
Ronald M. Atlas
Ronald M. Atlas is Graduate Dean, Professor of Biology and Public Health, and Co-director of the Center for Health Hazards Preparedness at the University of Louisville. After receiving his master's and PhD degrees from Rutgers University, he became a postdoctoral fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on Mars life detection.
He is chair of NASA's Planetary Protection Subcommittee, co-chair of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Task Force on Biodefense, and a member of the FBI Scientific Working Group on Microbial Genetics and Forensics. He also served as president of ASM and was a member of the NIH Recombinant Advisory Committee. His research has included development of detection methods for pathogens in the environment. Dr. Atlas is author of nearly 300 manuscripts and 20 books, and regularly advises the U.S. government on policy issues related to the deterrence of bioterrorism.
Margaret A. Hamburg
Margaret A. Hamburg became the 21st Commissioner of Food and Drugs in May 2009. The second woman to be nominated for this position, she is an experienced medical doctor, scientist, and public health executive. As the top official of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Hamburg is currently overseeing the implementation of laws to curb the use of tobacco and enhance food safety, and has undertaken major efforts streamline and modernize FDA’s regulatory pathways.
Before joining FDA, Dr. Hamburg worked at the Nuclear Threat Initiative from 2001 to 2009, first as the vice president for biological programs and later as the foundation’s senior scientist. From 1997 to 2001, she was assistant secretary for policy and evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in the 1990s she served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Hamburg earned her undergraduate and medical school degrees from Harvard University.
David Nabarro is the United Nations System Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza in the UN Development Group. Dr. Nabarro was appointed to his current post by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, in September 2005, and shortly thereafter was seconded to the position by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Prior to joining the UN, Dr. Nabarro had served for six years at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. He started in 1999 as head of the Roll Back Malaria Program, then was promoted, in 2000, to be Executive Director in the Office of the then Director-General. In 2002 he led the WHO cluster on Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments. In 2003 he was made head of the newly-created Health Action in Crisis group, and special representative of Director General Dr. Lee Jong-Wook. Dr. Nabarro previously held leadership positions in the UK Department for International Development as well as the British Government's Overseas Development Administration.
Stewart Simonson is Vice President for Global Public Health Preparedness at the Constella Group, charged with oversight and strategic expansion of the company's preparedness programs. Prior to joining Constella, Dr. Simonson served as Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he was the secretary's principal adviser on bioterrorism and other public health emergency matters. While at HHS, he also coordinated the public health preparedness activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.
In addition, he represented HHS in negotiations with foreign governments and international agencies, and was instrumental in preparedness planning for Pandemic Avian Influenza. Dr. Simonson has received several awards, including The Surgeon General's Medallion and the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Public Health Achievement Award. He holds a JD from the University of Wisconsin.